Sometimes It’s OK to Quit
Today I’m thrilled to introduce my friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries author, Glynnis Whitwer, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. I pray this post encourages you to have the confidence you need if you find yourself in a commitment you need to step away from.
Glynnis is also giving away a copy of Doing Busy Better to one of my readers, plus she has free downloads for all of you, so make sure to read to the end. Please welcome Glynnis!
Ever find yourself wanting to quit when things get hard?
Whether it’s learning something new, joining a group where we are the outsider, or being around people who don’t treat us like we deserve to be treated, most of us find ourselves in a difficult situation at some time or other, and getting out seems like the best avenue.
Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to press on, persevere, not give up hope, be brave, believe, and trust the Lord to strengthen us as we face our challenges.
Is there anywhere we are encouraged to stop?
The answer is yes, and we find a powerful reason to quit given by Jesus Himself in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5.
When It Causes You to Sin.
Jesus taught that sin in our hearts is just as bad as the sin we commit with our words or actions.
I faced sin in my heart during a time as children’s ministry director at my small church. It was a great part-time job that seemed manageable. I had three small children at the time, so I was already involved in that ministry. And because I have the gift of teaching and administration, it seemed a perfect fit.
For a while everything went great. I loved helping pick out curriculum and organizing the teacher supply room. I liked working with the other leaders, who shared a similar passion for teaching. And I loved the children.
Where this job fell apart for me was with the volunteers. Every week it seemed somebody called to cancel, or worse yet, just didn’t show up. And most often I deemed their excuses flimsy at best. After all, I didn’t let a headache stop me from showing up. And I went to bed early on Saturday night so I wasn’t too tired to show up.
Week after week I grew more and more annoyed. Especially since I was often the one to fill in for that volunteer, meaning I missed the church service I desperately needed.
I grew prideful as I compared my commitment with others and found them lacking. I grew resentful at their lack of dedication, and my compassion meter ran on empty.
After a year of praying and asking for God’s strength and trying to resolve these issues through practical means, my heart was steadfastly in the wrong place. I didn’t like the person I was becoming, and I went to the pastor and gave notice (and stayed till we found a replacement).
There are a few reasons I couldn’t handle that job. First, my energy and compassion were pretty much consumed by raising three little boys. Second, pride had a firm hold of me back then, and I was starting to see that it would take much to root it out. And third, I just wasn’t spiritually mature enough to handle the job.
Being on staff at a church requires a depth of spiritual and emotional maturity I didn’t have. I didn’t have the undergirding of personal prayer nor did I know how to handle all the knowledge that came with that position. It was absolutely the right decision to quit; I’ve never second-guessed that one.
As you consider all your commitments and responsibilities, is there one where you know either your thoughts, words, or actions aren’t right? If so, it’s always best to seek God’s help before quitting.
God has used hard situations to convict and correct me of sin. There have been plenty of other times I wanted to quit a responsibility due to my own sin, but God kept me there and changed me.
But if you are in a situation where you are continually tempted to sin, or are already in sin, and you don’t feel equipped to handle it, you could be facing the go-ahead to quit.
I know the idea of quitting anything can feel wrong. But when we do it in the right way, for the right reasons, it can be one of the best ways to get ourselves on a healthy track of life.
Comment below and share a commitment that God is calling you to slow the pace in, or perhaps one He has called you to quit in the past. One random winner will be chosen to win a copy of Doing Busy Better and will notified by email next week. (U.S. addresses only please).
About Doing Busy Better
In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.
Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.
The winner of the Dream-Reviver Giveaway is Glenda Tankersley (09/18/2017 at 5:26 pm). Thanks to all of you who entered!
I won a free book several months ago but never got it. Adress Amy Hueitt. 504 west third ave apt. B Gastonia nc 28052
I have a tendency to be long-winded so I will try to get to the point succinctly here. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but GOD had other plans, and I find myself a “career gal” while my husband parents our three children full-time. I had never thought of myself as a perfectionist or controlling, but guess what? I was wrong. I arrived to work every day several hours early and stayed late as well because I wanted everything to be “perfect” and to be done “the right way”. But I was never, ever satisfied and nothing was ever perfect enough, and my husband and kids saw less and less of me as I struggled to be better…and better…and better…I became surly, and bitter, and critical, and driven. It was a struggle to smile. I prayed to GOD and asked him to please “let me be enough as I am, flaws and all”. I simply could not continue at this pace, and everyone knew it. Little by little, I accepted the attitude of “that’s good enough for today” at work. I learned that I don’t have to be all things to all people, and that I can just be Wife and Mother. If I was single and had no kids, maybe I could give 150% all of the time. But that’s not my reality. So I am learning to give my best, and then to walk away, and let my efforts stand, for better or for worse, as they are.
I can see I failed at the “succinct” part–HA ! 🙂
I had to quit my job as a childcare worker at my church a couple of years ago. I was suffering sever burnout because I had been doing it basically non-stop, 1 to 3 days a week almost every month, for 10 years. And I haven’t felt welcome in a church since I became a Christian back in 2002, so my loneliness and the burnout and the pressure of perfectionism and anorexia and depression and anxiety and being suicidal were all destroying me. So I quit my job and started seeing a Christian therapist, and that was one of the best decisions of my life! I wish I had done it sooner! It’s hard to quit something where you feel irreplaceable, but if it’s killing you, then it’s totally worth it to walk away. The reconstruction and healing are harder the longer you wait.
I know when I sign up for too much, I’m spread too thin. Would love to read your book 1
Thank you for sharing this. I. Am feeling overwhelmed, but I don’t have a clue as to what God would have me to “ quit”. Praying for wisdom and discernment. Looking forward to reading the book as well. Maybe God will speak through it. Thank you again for your heart to share your insight and encouragement.
Thank you for this beautiful reminder that it’s ok to say goodbye to things, even good things. As women we always think that saying “no” is being rude and that in order to be a “good Christian” we have to just smile and take on more than we really can. I’m currently in the middle of letting something “good” go and it’s been very hard to do. Thank you again for this refreshing reminder that we don’t have to be “superwomen” to Love Jesus.
I signed on to be Executive Director of a womens’ entrepreneur group which involved hosting monthly meetings for my chapter with the expectation of growing my chapter.
After close to a year of this commitment, I felt God’s calling to step down and resigned to the founder of the organization.
I felt like this huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders…..a weight I wasn’t even aware I was carrying! Such a God thing. I’ve never looked back on my decision to step down and have no regrets.
I have been a volunteer for our local police dept.for over seven years. This year, I felt the lack of work and the low morale of the officers brought me no peace to continue. Yet I didn’t stop until my body began to give signs that I needed to take time to heal. I found peace in the reality that I’m not obligated to do something that will bring me compromised health. I’m now finishing a 2nd draft on a novel, and finding time to relax and enjoy the little things of life. I desire to visit my grandchildren more who live four hours away. The Lord definitely showed me that I had put my priorities in the wrong place and I needed to seek Him and follow in His steps. Your devotional gave me a reality check and confirmation of my need to say “no” to volunteering.
This was just what I needed, man God is good and always on time with His word and reminders we need! I feel like I have been in a season on re-prioritizing and saying no for over a year. I am young, not married yet, and love to stay busy. I am a “yes” person and always find myself being asked to commit to things- things I love and am good at, but aren’t always good for me. After playing college ball I came home and found myself literally told I have to coach this team, because if not they didn’t have a coach. So since then I have coached volleyball in some capacity the past 4 years whether school or club ball. Last year I tried to say no and ended up being roped into just assisting when I could because they needed me. This year I have given a firm no. I serve in ministry (FCA) with youth in the schools as my full time job and in the church as a leader- leading youth, leading small groups and anything else they need as my volunteer time giving back to the church. I have been a youth group leader for the past four years as well and have found myself in the same position as volleyball. I love the youth, but I feel that my calling in serving them is in the capacity of a FCA and it became too much trying to pour into youth from work, volleyball, and church youth. So God, through some Godly wisdom from others, told me I needed to slow down, take some time for myself, which meant say no to some things. I learned and am learning through this season that my best “yes” in life sometimes looks like a “no”. Matthew 5:37 has taught me that in order to give my best in my yeses, I can’t say yes to everything. So this was a great reminder and encouragement to do just that and seek God where He would have me give my best yes!
Welcome Glynnis! How you were feeling about your position and those involved is exactly how I am feeling about a certain relationship. I feel as though I’m putting in all the effort to “fix” things and restore the relationship but I’m getting very little, (to none), in return. I have felt God convicting me to take a step back from the relationship for quite some time now but I feel so guilty about wanting to “give up” on this person.
God has called me to “Be still and know that I am God”, Ps 46:10 this past season as I dealt with a cancer diagnosis. I put everything aside, except my moms’ bible study group, in order to receive and heal. Now that I am on the other side of this, I am being slow to pick up the threads I put down. Just waiting to hear from Him!
I need to quit putting so much pressure on myself
Me, too. 🙁
Thank you Amy for this reminder that it is ok to quit certain things. The older I get the more I realize what my main priorities are. I am a person that would rather give my 100 % dedication and passion to three things versus thirty things. I work full time outside my home, have a blended family, very involved with my children and help my aging parents so I am struggling with always keeping the Sabbath Day for rest. I have learned such good advice from you and enjoy your blog and devotions. ~Lisa~